Guide to Starting Your Home-Based Small Scale Business in 2021

Written by
Marissa Saini
Last Modified on
December 19, 2023

In more recent years, many people have began moving away from the corporate world and started their own small-scale businesses from home. For some, having a home-based business may even mean being able to work remotely and having the ability to bring work with you no matter where you go.

Starting a home-based business presents an abundance of benefits and perks that you can’t always achieve from a nine to five job. This ranges from enjoying flexible working hours, spending less time on your commute, and having the freedom to grow your business at your own pace. Thankfully, setting up your home  business in Singapore isn’t such a difficult feat with all the different schemes available just like the Home-Based Small Scale Business Scheme.

All About the Home-Based Small Scale Business Scheme

The Home-Based Small Scale Business Scheme allows aspiring entrepreneurs in Singapore to carry out small scale home-based business activities in order to supplement your household income. This scheme covers home-based activities such as:

  • Small scale bakeries
  • Beauty services including hairdressing, manicure, and pedicure
  • Private tuition services
  • Freelance creative services including photography, writing, or design work

One of the biggest benefits of this scheme is that you don’t need a license or approval from HDB or URA in order to operate. However, there are still several guidelines to adhere to.

Guidelines and Regulations under the Home-Based Small Scale Business Scheme

Here are some rules and guidelines that you residents need to follow under the Home-Based Small Scale Business Scheme:

  • Your flat must be for residential use only and cannot be registered as a business address
  • Physical or paid advertising for the business is not allowed (e.g. advertising in newspapers and other mobile platforms, display of business signboard outside of the residence, and handing out flyers to promote the business)
  • Business activities that involve food safety and hygiene or fire safety are required to comply with the rules and regulations of the relevant authorities
  • The business activities conducted should not:
  1. Cause any nuisance or adversely affect your neighbours’ living environment or cause any nuisance (e.g. noise, smoke, odour, dust, litter, high human/vehicle traffic
  2. Require additional workers or staff apart from the individuals residing in the premises
  3. Require storage or movement of goods
  4. Involve the use of heavy equipment or appliances that are not intended for domestic use

Home-Based Business Ideas

1. Sell your service or expertise

If there is a specific skill or profession that you specialise in, you may be able to monetise it and turn it into a home-based business. This idea is great for professionals in the creative and education industries, or simply any sector that can provide a specific service for their customers. For individuals who wish to make the shift from working at a corporate job to becoming their own boss, selling your service or expertise can be a great way to start.

Examples of service-driven home based business ideas include:

  • Freelance writing
  • Graphic design
  • Marketing
  • Virtual assistance
  • Online tutoring
  • Personal training
  • Dog-walking  

2. Productise your service or expertise

This idea works best for those who wish to take it to the next level and go beyond just selling their services and skills. In a nutshell, productising your service or skills involves creating physical or digital products that can package your area of specialisation and complement the existing service that you already offer.

Instead of just writing an article as a freelance writer, you also have designed courses and guides that you can sell in order to teach people how to become freelance writers as well. Other ideas for adding products to your service-based business include:

  • Design guides
  • Short courses
  • seminars/webinars
  • Licensable assets (e.g. stock footage, royalty-free music, etc.)
  • Digital design templates and mock-ups
  • e-Books

Since this can be done digitally, this is suitable for people who do not have sufficient space in their homes to stock inventory.

3. Creating handmade goods

If you don’t have a specific skill set to monetise, why not create handmade goods? Whether it’s baked goods, customised artwork, or scented candles, making your own products is a great home-based business idea that can be done by almost anyone. Not only will you be making a profit out of your business, but you will be able to tap into your creative side as well.

One area of consideration to take note of is the amount of space you will need in your home for all your logistical needs. Make sure that you have enough room in your house for the various equipment and tools you will need for your home-based business.

4. Start a Dropshipping Business

For those who don’t want to go through the process of making a product from scratch, try starting a dropshipping or reselling business. A dropshipping business or store is an order fulfillment method that does not require a business to keep products in stock. A third party supplier produces, stores, and ships your products on your behalf, leaving you with the menial tasks such as marketing and customer service.

Businesses who adopt a dropshipping model can reach out to suppliers locally or overseas. But before signing any agreement, ensure that these are reliable and legitimate suppliers that will not jeopardise your business.

Ready to get started?

Once you are finally decided on starting your home-based small scale business, begin planning out everything you will need from tools and equipment, work space, marketing, bookkeeping, and business banking.

To get started you would need to register your company and open a business account. Aspire Kickstart offers the first same-day online incorporation and business account opening in Singapore from anywhere in the world. Say goodbye to long waits and hefty paperwork. Aspire Kickstart cuts through the stress and confusion that comes with incorporating a company and opening a business account in Singapore.

You can save money and incorporate and open a business account on the same day with Aspire Kickstart - packages start as low as S$280! That’s 11% cheaper than if you incorporated by yourself

Sign up with us today and we’ll take care of the rest.

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About the author
Marissa Saini
is a seasoned writer and an avid trendspotter across business finance, personal finance, travel and lifestyle industries. With writing history at SingSaver, INK, and ohmyhome, Marissa leverages her broad range of experiences to simplify finance and make readers financially savvy.
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